Our House is Open: Lobster Buyback question

NDP Fisheries Critic Christopher Mitchelmore (MHA, The Straits-White Bay North) has concerns about the lobster industry buyout announced last week.
“It is a step in the right direction,” said Mitchelmore, “but I want to ensure it is equitably implemented in a way that will truly relieve some stress from an overburdened industry.”
One potential problem arises from the reverse auction nature of the buyback.
“It is vital that people who opt to leave get a fair and equitable settlement,” said Mitchelmore. “I would hope the program will not take advantage of people’s financial desperation.”

NDP Caucus: “Our House is Open”
Question for Nov. 23, 2011
Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA, The Straits-White Bay North

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.
Mr. Speaker, while the federal and provincial government’s plan to buy back lobster licences is laudable, I have concerns about the procedures developed for making this happen.
In particular, I have concerns regarding the 200 or more fishers in my district currently holding lobster licenses.
Mr. Speaker, I want to make sure this process is truly voluntary, and that the program will not take undue advantage of people facing economic hardship.
Mr. Speaker, people wanting to leave the industry must be fairly remunerated and not feel pressured to leave. This cannot be a race to the bottom.
Mr. Speaker, I ask the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture what measures has his department developed to ensure fishers wanting to leave the industry get fair value for their enterprise?

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